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100 Essential Triathlon Sessions: The Definitive Training Programme for all Serious Triathletes

100 Essential Triathlon Sessions: The Definitive Training Programme for all Serious Triathletes

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100 Essential Triathlon Sessions: The Definitive Training Programme for all Serious Triathletes

Lunghezza:
251 pagine
2 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 28, 2014
ISBN:
9781847976734
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Triathlon has seen huge changes in the past few decades; it has grown in popularity; been recognised as an Olympic sport; and witnessed a rapid increase in standards of performance at all levels. These changes have been accompanied by major developments in training principles and methods. Two of the UK's top triathlon coaches, Steve Trew and Dan Bullock, have teamed up to write 100 Essential Triathlon Sessions, the definitive training programme for all serious triathletes. These 100 sessions - 30 swim, 30 bike, 30 run and 10 brick - have been developed and honed over many years and have proved effective in improving performance.'The sessions in this book are absolutely spot-on, there's a reason why you should be doing them, a time, and a scale so you can fit in with your level of fitness and aspirations. Great book, highly recommended!' Jodie Stimpson, runner-up in the World Triathlon Series in 2013. Fully illustrated with 35 colour photographs and 5 diagrams.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 28, 2014
ISBN:
9781847976734
Formato:
Libro

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100 Essential Triathlon Sessions - Steve Trew

Trew

INTRODUCTION

Triathlon has been a huge part of my life for the last thirty years, and the changes I have seen in the sport during that time have been astounding, in particular the rapid increase in standard of performance at all levels and the massive changes in training. Back in the 1980s, triathlon was seen as a total endurance sport with little or no room for quality training.

The rate of improvement has been hugely impressive, and in long-distance triathlon, the rate of performance improvement has been even more remarkable, from that first Ironman® in 1978, won by Gordon Haller in 11hr 46min 58sec, to the current times of sub 8hr for men and the astonishing 8hr 18min for Chrissie Wellington (GB) in the women’s event. This time decrease of over 33 per cent cannot be matched by any other sport.

Of course, any new sport will see tremendous changes as it reaches out to more and more competitors, and this has been reflected in training for triathlon. There have been different phases of training as ‘new’ (actually often old reinvented) methods have come into vogue. There has, at various times, been a different emphasis on a particular discipline. But it’s triathlon, isn’t it? So every discipline is important. What is equally important is how the training for those three disciplines fits together, and how they relate and impinge upon each other.

At one time every single training session had to be a ‘back to back’, or ‘brick’. It works for some athletes; for others it is just extremely tiring. And that’s what’s important: each athlete needs to ask: What training do I need? What works for me? What is going to make me a better athlete? The bottom line for us is to find the sessions that make us improve.

We hope this book will help. It contains 100 sessions that Dan and I have used over the years and which have been effective in improving performance. There are no short cuts, but knowing what works and what doesn’t, and choosing the crucial sessions to make those gains, is going to save time and avoid a lot of frustration.

An essential skill for all competitive triathletes at whatever level is juggling – time, sessions and real life! Without that skill, life becomes rushed and less enjoyable.

Steve Trew

CHAPTER 1

SWIMMING TECHNIQUE

Effective swimming is one of the most biomechanically difficult sports to measure in terms of recognizing and calculating what is happening when it is done well. Élite swimmers can hit the same number of strokes for length after length, but there will be subtle variations in terms of the pathway that each arm revolution takes. The more stable the foundation that these movements are based on, the greater the likelihood of more similar movements being repeated.

When attending training camps with swimmers and triathletes, it is hard not to see some key patterns develop. Issues with stroke stability and key inaccuracies are always apparent time and time again as we work with adults to improve their front crawl technique. It is always rewarding to see some significant breakthroughs in terms of getting faster from performing just a few key drills. I have relied on these ‘basics’ for many years now, and while they are quite simple in their appearance, the essentials of technique are there. I was pleased but not surprised when I also finally found footage of some Olympians doing these same drills in their recovery swims at a top US university.

You will see that the basic extension position and torpedo drills are referred to continually throughout the fitness sessions, such is their importance. It is not a matter of drills being performed for learning and then forgotten: drills are repeated over and over again, just as a golfer will have their swing looked at from time to time and sometimes rebuilt.

The Leg Kick

It is imperative to change your approach to swim technique in order to break through to more economical swimming. Working from the legs up may seem strange, but they do cause most issues. Improving your leg kick is possibly the biggest breakthrough you can make to your front crawl stroke. A perfect leg kick with a less-than-perfect front crawl arm pull is better than a bad kick and a perfect pull/catch position. With a good leg kick the act of swimming should be less tiring.

A wetsuit will not cure a bad leg kick, and continually pulling will not help solve the issues that are slowing your full stroke front crawl. Adding fins will generally make a bad leg kick faster, but it will not stop it from tiring you out if the kick is incorrect. Wearing a band around the ankles will reduce a bad kick but not teach you what a good leg kick is.

The kick should not be engaged to the point that it is overly propulsive. We need the kick to hold the body in position, to help initiate rotation. It is not about propulsion. It is absolutely necessary to have an efficient front crawl leg kick to swim faster. The bike and run are still to come once the swim is complete, but a good front crawl leg kick will not overtire your leg muscles.

Remember the concept of ‘hiding’ to maintain a streamlined position:

What we want to avoid is the kick being too big – that is, kicking outside the profile of the body and creating drag. The disparity between how you imagine you kick and what actually happens can be huge. Frequently when people see their video playback they are amazed to see the width and depth of their kick compared to just how small a good kick is: they cannot believe ‘that’s all it is!’

It is easy to see how this happens: on dry land strong leg movements do create speed, and the bigger and faster movements usually dictate big, fast returns. The skill when it comes to swimming is limiting the range of movement. The leg kick even while mechanically accurate in terms of a relatively straight movement from the hip can still be quite big.

Using the ‘plank’ position as well as the Pilates ‘swimmer’ movement will supplement and accelerate an accurate small kick. If the leg kick is likened to the movement of a pendulum, then it is easy to see how a small movement at the hip can generate such large unwanted positions down at the feet. Core exercises will add rhythm to create a good small kick, and the core strength to control it and keep it small. It is also necessary to have flexible ankle mobility so that the feet can turn inwards and improve ‘usable surface area’. Feel the big toes tapping as a constant reminder of this aspect of the kick. This will also stop the feet splaying too far apart if you maintain a fast rhythm.

If all the above fall into place and your kick mechanics improve, then the kick will add traction to the stroke (rather than propulsion). You will then stand a better chance of creating rotation around the long axis internally: the legs, core and hips generate the ability to get the upper body rotated, and it then becomes sustainable and symmetrical. The movement is repeated over and over again.

Breathing and Head Position

Often the breathing initiates and promotes rotation as the head lifts aggressively, and it is easy to assume that you are not rotating when you are not breathing. The other detrimental impact of this movement is how the arm is usually needed to help this upward movement of the head. Similarly, if the arm is pushing down, then it is not setting a good pulling position where the body should be pulled over the hand and forearm by getting the fingertips pointing to the bottom of the pool, the palm of the hand facing the wall you are swimming away from, and the forearm moving into a vertical position.

Body Position and the Torpedo Drill

Ideally we look to create the FC body positions without the arms involved, so it continually happens regardless of whether you are breathing or not – hence the torpedo drill.

Torpedo drill.

Swimming this drill for 5m from each wall with no breathing will really help. Finish the length on full stroke, and the movement of the drill will gradually enter into your full stroke.

In the torpedo position the legs are kicking, the hips rotating, and the core is involved in lifting the shoulders and getting the upper body partially on to its side. The kick needs to do this so that rotation is delivered equally and continuously. If lifting the head when breathing during full stroke drives your rotation, then it often needs a wide push down of the arm to help prop the head up. To stop this wide sweep of the arm from unbalancing you, it often needs a wide leg kick to counterbalance you. These faults will create very poor streamlining and rotation, and with each breath there will be a sharp drop in speed due to the increase in surface area to your profile.

A narrower hand recovery will keep the kick smaller.

An unbalanced body position needs stabilizing.

Once the shoulders start to lift above the surface from practising the drill without the arms involved, then there is a much better opportunity of making bilateral breathing a lot easier within the full stroke. The shoulders are no longer in the way – that is, low as you attempt to breathe. As the shoulders lift, the elbow is then taken higher and so the trajectory of the hands can be improved. Without rotation the shoulders are lower in the water, and in turn the elbows are kept lower as the arms recover wide.

Internal rotation means that the rotating continues even when not breathing. If the rotation originates externally from an aggressive breathing movement, from the lead arm pushing down and so not catching, coupled with the head lifting into the breath, swimming will become almost one-armed and the body will run the risk of injury as the shoulder takes a lot of the pressure.

The Extension Position

The role of the extension position is to help you hold the arm outstretched, and to learn to breathe off the outstretched arm without it falling away, so the head is supported when breathing.

Extension position.

If the torpedo position promotes the rotation to come from within, then the extension position is the drill that teaches a leg kick that is sufficient to hold you on your side. Overkicking will lead to a more tiring kick that is trying to work to create propulsion. If the leg kick is under control and stabilizes, then we should

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